Last week we learned how to make a character in the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. Since I gave options for solo play, and pointed you towards the free rules so you could play with your friends, you might have played a game since then. And if you're lucky, your character might have even survived their brush with the mythos. If that's the case, then they're ready for advancement.
So, a few things to note before we dive in here. Call of Cthulhu is unlike other roleplaying games that you might be familiar with, in that it doesn't have levels. Your character does advance and grow better, but not in the leaps and bounds that you see in a game like D&D. Also, the rules for leveling up aren't in the quick start guide. So at this point, you'll want to graduate to the full rules, but I'll be going over the basics here.
First and foremost, we have skill increases. If you used a skill during the past scenario, you should have checked it off on your character sheet (they provide a box for this). At the end of the scenario, you roll a test against each of these skills. If you fail this test, then you increase the skill by 1d10. Using this method, it gets harder to increase skills that are higher. As a sidenote, once a skill reaches 90%, you get a handful of sanity points to represent the confidence and discipline of mastering something. So not earth shattering, but useful in a pinch to keep your characters going in longer games.
Another thing that might happen here is a change in background. This is why I mentioned in the previous post that you needed to have a key connection. This one generally doesn't get messed with, unless the player actively consents to it.
The next thing we look at is credit rating. If you did well on your last mission, and the Keeper (GM) deems that you'd be paid for your work, they can decide to have you roll an increase on your credit rating. Conversely, if something happens on your mission to drive you into financial ruin, they can have you roll to lower your credit rating. The exact value of gain or loss is up to the Keeper, but you're usually looking at a change of 1d10 in either direction.
Other things you can do to benefit yourself include spending time and money to train, or spending down time to heal wounds and mental trauma. Note that you can't increase your max HP or max sanity at any point. These are the basic limits of your human form, and they don't change just through grit and determination.
If your campaign goes on long enough, your character might also experience aging effects, detailed in the full rules, so be sure to keep your eyes on that. In general, this means a deterioration of physical attributes, but a benefit to mental ones. After all, the body may weaken with age, but we get a little older and wiser.
If your game uses the optional rules for luck, you might also restore spent luck points here as well. But not all games use these rules, and sometimes luck is simply a static score.
With your character getting a little better, you just might be able to survive your next encounter as you did your first. And if not, then there's always the chance to roll up a new character. because remember, Call of Cthulhu is a horror game about opposing unimaginable alien entities. That line of work tends to have a high mortality rate, and an even higher insanity rate.
I hope you enjoyed this and the rest of the content by Digital & Dice. For more from me, feel free to check out my personal blog. Until next time…Game on Internets!
- Draconick, Digital and Dice Contributor
I, Nick “Draconick” Johnson, am a writer and roleplaying enthusiast with over ten years of experience in various tabletop roleplaying games both as a player and as a GM. I am also somewhat involved in other forms of tabletop gaming such as wargaming, board games, and card games. It is my hope that by creating and maintaining this website that I can share my unique take on all things within our hobby and to foster a community of like-minded individuals.